Some Sunday alcohol sales to start soon

Published 5:39 pm Friday, March 23, 2012

By the end of April, Bainbridge residents and visitors should be able to enjoy alcoholic beverages at local restaurants on Sundays, once the Bainbridge City Council amends city ordinances to allow the change.

The City Council is poised to approve the change, after citizens passed it in a referendum held March 7. Citizens defeated a ballot measure that would have allowed package sales of alcohol on Sundays, a voter option created by a 2011 Georgia law.

The council held a first reading and public hearing on the proposed changes to the ordinance at its meeting this past Tuesday. The council will hold another public hearing and consider adopting the revised ordinance at its meeting on April 3. Hobby previously said he expects the council may choose to have the effective starting date of Sunday alcohol sales fall after Easter Sunday has passed.

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Hobby said the proposed amendments would also fix an error in a prior change to the city’s alcohol ordinances, regarding the hours package sales are allowed during Monday-Saturday. Historically, businesses permitted to do package sales, such as convenience stores, could sell from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m the following day, Hobby said. The starting hour was accidentally changed to 7 a.m. in recent years, which businesses complained about, Hobby said.

“They told me it is important for them to have the earlier starting time we originally had, in order to accomodate sales associated with fishermen,” Hobby said.

The Council also unanimously approved a request from PDC Construction to temporarily close Clark Street, which runs behind City Hall, between its intersections with Troupe and Broughton streets. The block of Clark Street will be closed during the upcoming renovation of City Hall, which is expected to take about a year.

PDC, who is partnering on the City Hall renovation project with Childers Construction of Tallahassee, Fla., stated the street closure would ensure pedestrians’ and motorists’ safety while the renovation project was under way, Hobby said.

The closure will also allow PDC and subcontractors to stage construction equipment next to City Hall during the project. However, in its request, PDC stated it “will stipulate and ensure that local traffic access would be maintained to the city parking lot located between Clark and Clay Street and to the alley located behind Kres Jewelry Store and Lucretia’s School of Dance.”

Other business

In other business, the Council:
• Learned from Hobby that the city has contracted with RCS Productions of Fayetteville, Ga., to bring the 1980s cover band “Molly Ringwald” to perform at the city’s annual Fourth of July celebration. The production budget is $10,000, which the city will pay for in two installments.

• Heard a positive report on the city’s 2010-2011 audit report, which was presented by the firm of Moore and Cubbedge of Marietta, Ga.

• Witnessed Mayor Edward Reynolds perform the swearing-in of new Public Safety Officer Tim McCain.

Bids and Bills

• Bills: $24,971.50 from Decatur County Board of Commissioners, for monthly landfill and inmate fees; $9,679.78 from Harris Computer Systems of Chicago, Ill., for consulting services.

• Bids: $3,758.10 from Stone’s Hardware Store of Bainbridge for supplies related to construction of a pavilion at the College Street park; $13,883.10 from Barber Fertilizer of Bainbridge for Fyfanon and Malathion chemicals for use in the city’s mosquito spraying, which Hobby said is under way; $4,374.96 from Badger Meter of Milwaukee, Wisc., for renewal of automated meter reading system service; $10,285.24 from Dana Safety of Sugar Hill, Ga., for fire hose and accessories; $374 from MES of Charlotte, N.C., for fire hose and accessories; $220 from Georgia Fire and Rescue of Canton, Ga., for fire hose and accessories; $776 from Ten 8 Fire and Rescue of Forsyth, Ga., fire hose and accessories; $6,551.10 of Nafeco of Decatur, Ala., for firefighters’ turnout gear; $5,100 of Tifton, Ga., for firefighters’ turnout gear; and $12,840 from Smyrna Police Distribution of Smyrna, Ga., for 14 new sets of soft body armor.